Taking the Suburban Atlanta Buck Named ‘Elvis’
Russ Chastain 12.03.19
Georgia Outdoor News (GON) recently reported on a giant whitetail buck that was taken in the Atlanta suburbs by a bowhunter who had dedicated himself to slaying that magnificent critter. It was a 12-point buck that scored a massive 165 inches when measured.
Back in August, bowhunter Bob Coombs got trail camera photos of an incredible buck. Bob began calling it Elvis, he said, “Because he’s the King.”
It was tough to hunt this big boy, which is undoubtedly the reason he grew to become king. Even at night, the buck was unpredictable — although he had “fallen in love” with a food plot.
Bob was running 20 trail cameras, 12 of them cellular, but he far from had this big buck pegged and patterned.
‘He would disappear for two weeks at a time, and he was so nocturnal. Then he completely abandoned the property where I had a feeder. It was like he was spooked by the corn. But he would still come to the food plot. On the 21st he showed up two times during daylight, at 6:45 a.m. and 3:33. There was a doe in the background, he was with a doe.’
And where was Bob?
‘I was on vacation. It… was killing me when I got those pictures. [Other than]… when I got a picture at 6:44 p.m. with only 2 minutes of legal shooting time left, the 21st was the only time he came during legal shooting hours, and I was on vacation. I had been hunting just about every morning and every evening and never saw him.’
Two days before Thanksgiving, Bob placed an umbrella over his stand to keep it dry for the hunt. It was his 109th hunt of the season, and with a forecast of a cold front moving through overnight with heavy rain in the morning, he wanted to make sure hunt number 110 would be relatively dry — or at least survivable.
When he awoke the next morning, he had a good feeling. He headed out extra-early, which he rarely does.
I got in the stand an hour before daylight. I never do that. I believe it puts too much scent in the woods. As soon as I got in the stand, I started hearing deer all around me. They were in the woods going at it — fighting, grunting, antlers hitting, snort-wheezing, does bleating, sticks crashing all around me. In the dark I couldn’t see a thing.
All of a sudden, it started raining, and it rained hard. It was pouring. I tucked in tight to the tree and hung my fanny pack right up under the umbrella to keep it dry. I thought, ‘these deer are going to bed down in this rain.’ I looked at the radar and could see the line was moving through. Then the rain quit, and it got so windy. Three separate times I was holding on to the tree it was blowing so hard. I felt the deer had bedded down during the storm, and I thought, ‘I’m going to grab my rattle bag and hit it so hard.’ I gave it a whack-whack-whack. About 5 seconds later I had to freeze because a little buck was coming through the food plot behind a doe. She ran him off, and she’s looking back in the woods, and I’m thinking ‘Oh boy.’
The doe almost caught his scent, but didn’t quite catch it before she departed. When he finally sat down for the first time all morning, he began fiddling with his GoPro, trying to get it to pair with his smart phone. That’s when he looked up and spotted the doe again. After a brief fight with another doe, that one stood dominant… and then she looked back towards the woods.
She walked back to the edge of the food plot and looks back, and it’s him. He was shaking off from the rain. Just incredible. My heart was pounding out of my chest. I’m saying to myself, ‘Keep your cool Bob.’
He holed up at the woodline, checking it out. The wind was perfect. I’m hunting out of an API climber that I put climbing sticks up to it. The bow was too close to the part that the chain goes to, so I’m moving to get in position for the shot, and I… accidentally hit the release [prematurely]. The arrow went 8 feet behind him. He’s looking off in the food plot in the other direction. He’s stomping his feet, but he’s looking the other way. There was so much wind, leaves falling and limbs had been falling. He was spooked but he couldn’t figure it out, and the doe was still there. I slipped another arrow in, nocked it as quick as I could, [drew, aimed,] and I let it go. As soon as I shot, I said out loud, ‘Perfect.’ It was a perfect shot.
I heard him hit a tree, and he crashed. I heard a big thud. He was down. When I went to him, I walked around the food plot so I wouldn’t mess up the blood trail, just in case. But he was right there. He went 40 yards downhill. I stopped before I got [to] him, got on my knees, and I cried a little bit. I did.
Just so much went into this. Just three days [earlier] I ran a poacher off. He had just pulled in for a hunt, and I got to him so fast he burned rubber all the way out the road.
I will never forget this hunt…
That morning in the food plot marked only the second time Bob had actually laid eyes on Elvis — and in spite of buck fever, he made it count. Nice.
No word on how much the big buck weighed, but I’d venture to say it was not easy to load that big boy into the truck!